Instant Pot Duo Nova Review
It’s like the Instant Pot Duo’s cooler older sister
“Nova” is a late 19th century Latin word — feminine of “novus” — meaning “new.” This is another fun play on words by Instant Pot: Duo Nova means “new Duo,” kind of like Duo Evo Plus means “Duo Plus evolved.”
Anyhow, enough with the wordplay and onto the real meat of things. The Instant Pot Duo is one of the most popular Instant Pot models likely because it has an impressive 7-in-1 functionality without any bells and whistles that the average cook doesn’t need — and would probably just get confused by.
The Duo Nova, then, is an upgraded version of that oh-so-loved 7-in-1 Instant Pot. In this guide, find out everything you need to know in order to confidently decide whether the Instant Pot Duo Nova is right for you.
But before we dive into the review, here's a quick overview video about the Duo Nova from Instant Pot:
Duo Nova Highlights
Unveiled in 2019, the Instant Pot Duo Nova is a slight improvement to the Instant Pot Duo. I say “slight improvement” because the changes aren’t all that significant — but that doesn’t mean they were for naught. Like the Duo Evo Plus, the Duo Nova is proof that the Instant Pot team listens to buyer feedback and actually utilizes that input.
The Duo Nova has some improvements that Instant Pot users have been begging for, and it’s also rid of some characteristics that the majority of people disliked. Again, though, these changes are rather small, so if you’re fine with your Duo, there’s probably no real reason to upgrade.
Features & Specs
Perhaps the most noticeable change about the Instant Pot Duo Nova is its enhanced display. The Instant Pot Duo doesn’t have an LCD screen — that was previously a luxury that required purchasing the Duo Plus. The Duo Nova, however, does have that coveted LCD screen, which makes the display brighter, bolder, and easier to read.
Update button layout
In addition to the new screen, the button layout is different on the Duo Nova. The same buttons are all there; they’ve just been rearranged. This is true for all sizes, except for the 3-quart Duo Nova, which does not have a preset poultry or multigrain button.
Improved lid and sealing mechanism
Instant Pot really outdid themselves with the new-and-improved lid on the Duo Nova. Like its other newer models, the Duo Nova has the improved easy-seal lid and lid fins that lock the lid into place when you want it to stay propped up. The new automatic quick release switch also eliminates the problem of forgetting to set the release valve in the sealed position: It does it for you.
If you’re tight on storage space, you’ll love that you can detach the cord and place it inside your Instant Pot Duo Nova when it’s time to put it in the cabinet.
10 safety settings
Like all Instant Pot models, the Duo Nova is equipped with all 10 safety features: thermal fuse and electric fuse, overheat protection, steam release, anti-block shield, safety lid lock, lid position detection, leaky lid detection, pressure control, and temperature control.
The Duo Nova still has the same 7-in-1 functionality as the Duo. It can act as a pressure cooker, sauté pan, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer, and yogurt maker. The Duo Nova also has 13 built-in smart cooking programs, including:
- Slow Cook
- Keep Warm
- Pressure Cook
The Instant Pot Duo Nova is available in three sizes: 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart.
Great for young couples and people cooking for 1-3 people.
The 6-quart size feeds small-to-medium families of 4-6 people.
In an 8-quart Duo Nova, you can prepare food for up to eight people.
10 quarts is ideal for large gatherings and meal prepping.
Instant Pot Duo Nova FAQ
The Duo Nova is simply an upgraded version of the Duo. The design was enhanced to make it more ergonomic and the display is a bit more intuitive. It still has the same 7-in-1 functionality, although the number of smart built-in programs differs based on the size you purchase (11 in the 3-quart, 13 in the other sizes).
The Duo Nova does not have as many features or settings as the Duo Plus. It’s still essentially the Duo, but with slightly enhanced features to make the overall experience a bit more seamless. The Duo Plus has a cooler older sister now, too: the Duo Evo Plus.
Yes. Any accessories you bought for a Duo, including sealing rings, racks, pans, and cups, should work with your Duo Nova. The Duo Nova comes with two silicone gaskets and a trivet/steaming rack, so you shouldn’t need to buy any extra of those.
Pros vs Cons
Most buyers seem to praise the new-and-improved easy-seal lid more than most of the other enhanced features.
Makes cooking quick and easy
As all Instant Pots do, the Duo Nova makes mealtime (and meal prep) easier and faster, with cooking times up to 70% faster than conventional methods.
Great for beginners
Because the Duo Nova is limited in functionality compared to some other models, it’s great for people who are new to pressure cooking and just want to learn the basics.
The Duo Nova is the first Instant Pot to come in the massive 10-quart size. You’ll love it if you cook for large groups often or meal prep for the entire week.
Available in many sizes
Choose from three, six, eight, or 10 quarts — whatever suits your needs.
Some missing features
If you’re looking for functions like air frying and cake baking, look elsewhere: The Duo Nova is one of the more limited Instant Pots, although it still has seven great cooking functions.
Some pressure cookers, including the Instant Pot Smart WiFi, can connect to your phone and allow you to control everything remotely. This is not so with the Duo Nova, but that’s not a huge deal if you utilize the keep warm and delay start buttons.